Kobalt SM2505LW Sliding Miter Saw Alignment Problem

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Forum topic by onestop posted 04-03-2015 11:56 AM 3995 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 1273 days

04-03-2015 11:56 AM

Topic tags/keywords: miter saw question

So i bought this saw for better or worse to do some framing work. Worked just fine for chopping up 2×4s with virtually no setup. Lately I’ve been getting into some furniture work and i’ve discovered my saw is way off on my cuts on anything deeper than say 2-3”.

I followed the advice for tuning up my saw here:

After doing the two-cut method I’ve found my cut closest to the fence is .58 but when i walk the blade out to the end of the cut on a 12” inch piece, the end cut is .789. This is massive.

I’ve checked the fence for true with my framing square, a level, etc… The table is flat, the fence is 90 to the blade.

The blade is practically new, Been used maybe 20 times since I bought it. When I lower the blade and just walk it across the cut front to back and vice versa, I can see it drift from the cutline…by quite a bit.

I think I’ve ruled out the fence being warped or out of alignment, the drift is so much I can’t imagine it’s deflection. And I’ve slowed down the speed of my cuts to the point of scorching the wood on my test cuts.


4 replies so far

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

597 posts in 3437 days

#1 posted 04-03-2015 12:29 PM

I feel for you, man. I hope others with Kobalt experience come along with good feedback.

I would only suggest that you try to determine if forces caused by a running motor might be causing the problem. You’d do that by rolling (motor off) the blade along the surface of a work piece, allowing the blade to make slight dimples in the wood as it rolls. Then engage the motor and make the same cut. If the cut line tracks the “dimple line,” then the drift is not being caused by the running motor.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View JayT's profile


5824 posts in 2331 days

#2 posted 04-03-2015 12:46 PM

I have the same saw, but only really use it for construction projects, not much for furniture/woodworking. That said, it has stayed in alignment very well since I set it up and miters on baseboard, casing and crown come out pretty accurate.

Try doing three cuts of the two cut method, not just one. Is the amount off consistent? If yes, then your fence needs realigned. Doesn’t matter what the framing square says (it could be off, as well). The framing square will get you close, but only the actual cuts will tell you the whole story. If the cut isn’t square, it needs adjusted.

If the amount off varies, it’s probably in the sliding mechanism. Most sliding miter saws, including the Kobalt, use a twin tube sliding mechanism and all have some play, just that the better quality saws generally have less. You might check the bushings that the tubes slide through. Also, make sure that when you are doing sliding cuts, you put pressure in the same direction every time in order to reduce the effect of the play.

The Kobalt will never be the same quality and accuracy as a Kapex or even a Bosch, DeWalt or Hitachi, but should be a pretty good saw when set up right.

Good luck.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View dhazelton's profile


2789 posts in 2417 days

#3 posted 04-03-2015 01:11 PM

Was it doing that before the blade change? Have you switched to another blade to rule that out?

View onestop's profile


4 posts in 1273 days

#4 posted 04-03-2015 01:23 PM

OK to answer a couple of questions so far. I changed the blade once from a 120 tooth that I was using to make some fine cuts but got burned up by my contractor when he borrowed the saw and started chopping up 4×4s. So i switched it out to a 60 tooth that’s been used maybe 6 times since.

That being said, I pulled the blade down and used three different squares, even bought the framing square new just to make sure. All three squares agreed the blade is 90 to the fence.

I did indeed do the tracking thing with the teeth pressed down on the blade, Rolled it lightly across my 12” piece just to make the indents for visual. I can watch it wander off the cutline about midway through. When I actually power the saw on and make the cut from front to back it lines up perfectly with my cutline in the front and then wanders off the cutline towards the back by as much as .105.

Interestingly enough when I cut two 1 bys or 2” pieces at 90 and flip them to match end to end…no gap. When I do the same thing at a 45 and flip to line them up…no gap.

It’s only when doing wide cuts front to back or even back to front (as a test) the saw just starts walking the dog and the difference become very noticeable.

EDIT: to add to this I also checked the fence with two different carpenters levels and there appears to be no warp in the fence. I also made sure to clamp my workpiece to the table to make sure it wasn’t accidentally bowing or moving while making the cuts.

This saw is about 1 year old and has been used approximately 10 times to make 20-30 cuts in total thus far.

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